Warship’s mascot reunited with ship’s shield
Jun 22 2009 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A WARSHIP’S mascot has been reunited with his vessel’s shield.
Terry Hickson, 67, of Meltham, was adopted as the HMS Mazurka’s mascot in March 1942 – the week he was born – during Warship Week.
The Marzurka, named after a Polish dance, was one of 20 ‘Dance Class’ armed trawlers launched between 1940 and 1941.
The ship was adopted by Meltham Urban District Council in the same week and Terry, the only Meltham baby born that week, became the ship’s mascot.
A giant brass and wood shield from the ship, launched in 1940, was presented to the council to commemorate the event.
Meanwhile a 6ft 4in photo of the then 16-month-old Terry was hung up in the ship.
The captain and crew of the ship, built by Ferguson Brothers at Port Glasgow, kept in touch with Terry’s family until the ship was sold in 1946.
The shield was kept in the council chamber at Meltham Town Council behind the chairman’s chair.
But over time, the real significance of the giant wooden shield was lost so the council launched an appeal to uncover the plaque’s history.
Council vice-chairman Shirley Watson said: “It was just stuck in a corner gathering dust. We never hung it up because it weighs a ton.
“Now we know it has a really interesting history.”
Terry, a retired engineer, said: “I didn’t know there was a shield until Shirley Watson got hold of me and she said they’d found this shield.